Now you primly say you’re justified,
And sing of a nation’s glory,
But I think of a people crucified –
The real Australian story.
Jack Davis, Noongar poet, playwright, Indigenous activist
Perth is home to the Perth Writers Festival, which brings “together writers, artists, activists and campaigners from around the globe, … to have you thinking about the world and our place in it.” In 2016, the Australian Poets Festival, born out of Australian Poetry, launched at the Perth Writers Festival.
Perth is also home to WA Poets Inc, set up in 2006 following the success of the 2005 WA Spring Poetry Festival. The Poets Society publishes a quarterly online poetry and haiku journal that encourages and showcases developing, emerging and established poets’ work. It also functions as a resource base for Western Australian poets and poetry in the digital space which will include information on readings, competitions and opportunities. The WA Poets Society also a yearly Perth Poetry Festival, which aims to introduce audiences to established and innovative artists of varying poetic traditions, develop a diverse, inclusive program that will provide opportunities for local poets to engage with and challenge their own craft. The festival also promotes local poets to improve their opportunities for professional development and their engagement with a broader public readership.
A group that runs out of WA Poets Inc is Creative Connections. The Creative Connections project began after a discussion between a parent and a disability worker about how poets and disability workers could work together and provide an opportunity for people with disabilities to connect more with the community. The group is a not-for-profit organisation run by a team of people, and supported by many groups and individuals. They believe art and poetry are important ways for people to express themselves creatively, and specifically wanted to give artists with disabilities the opportunity to do this, whilst connecting with the community and each other. Since it began, Creative Connections has grown, and is now organised by a team of people, including poets, parents of artists with disabilities, disability workers and community members.
In terms of regular readings and smaller scale events which support local poetry and poets, look no further than the Perth Poetry Club. With a tagline “where slams meets sonnets” this incredible hub functions as a meeting, sharing and showcase space on every Saturday 2pm-4pm at the Moon Cafe in Northbridge, Perth. For more information about regular events, to view pictures from the latest happens, to watch out for newly released zines, visit their website.
There are no shortage of nights to share in the talent of Perths’ spoken word and music scene at Voicebox at Clancy’s Tavern, Fremantle 7.30 pm to 10 pm on the 2nd Monday of the month. They normally have a series of guest poets and musicians and an open mic section.
Lunchlines showcases guest readers plus an open section. It is held at room 16.126, Mt Lawley Campus, Edith Cowan University, 1 Bradford St, Mt Lawley. Enquiries to be forwarded to Janice Bryant: email@example.com.
The Western Australian poetry scene spans many genres and styles, with a variety of voices and experiences. Regionally, there is no exception to this, with the WA Bush Poets Monthly “muster” providing a space for community and creative exchange between poets. Held on the 1st Friday of each month at The Auditorium, Bentley Park, 26 Plantation Drive, South Bentley, the Bush Poets are always open to newcomers.
Finally, the Poetry Slams in WA is a jam-packed event, one which brings forth every year new poetic voices, talent, excitement and joy. It is a showcase of the diversity of styles, voices and expressions of poetry in Perth and surrounds. Many slam events are held in more suburban or regional areas, so keep a watch on the heats nearest to you. For more information follow the link to the WA Poetry Slam heats.
If you believe we’ve missed something important in your state, feel free to let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.